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Date: Thursday, December 7, 2017

Time: Membership Social at 7:30
Program at 8:00 p.m.

Access: Open to the public and free for members, students and accompanying family members, educators and active military and their dependents. $10.00 charge for non-members.

Trita Parsi

The controversial 2015 Iran nuclear deal broke a persistent stalemate in negotiations, bringing the US and Iran into agreement on a plan to prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons. President Trump has been loudly critical of the agreement and has spoken of dismantling or renegotiating it. In order to understand what we might gain or lose, it is essential to understand the real story behind the Iran deal.

In Losing an Enemy, to be published August 1 by Yale University Press, foreign policy expert Trita Parsi reveals the behind the scenes dealings that led to the historic deal. The book is based on more than 75 interviews with key actors and decision makers in the drama—including John Kerry, Mohammad Zarif, and Federica Mogherini as well as diplomats from Russia, Israel, and the EU. Parsi, who advised the Obama White House throughout the talks and had access to the U.S. and Iranian sides alike, examines every facet of Obama’s signature foreign policy achievement. He argues that the deal accomplished two major feats in one stroke: it averted the threat of war with Iran and prevented the possibility of an Iranian nuclear bomb.

The book shows that the conventional wisdom in Washington, even among supporters of the deal, is wrong. It wasn’t Western sanctions that enabled the US to clinch a deal with Iran. Rather, it was Washington's unprecedented move to accept enrichment in Iran. Parsi details the chronology of events as well as the motivation of the actors to show what really happened in this watershed moment. With Iran only 8 weeks from possessing nuclear weapons, Obama made a bold diplomatic move that changed everything. Parsi’s account of the secret negotiations makes clear that it was America, not Iran that made the first conciliatory move, that it happened under Ahmadinejad, not Rouhani, and that without this concession, no deal would have been possible - despite the sanctions pressure.

Written by an author with unmatched access and expertise, Losing an Enemy will be the definitive book on Obama’s historic nuclear deal with Iran and is essential reading for anyone seeking a path forward.

Trita Parsi is the 2010 recipient of the $200,000 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order. He is an award-wining author with a focus on US foreign policy in the Middle East. His first book, Treacherous Alliance - The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran and the US (Yale University Press, 2007) won the Grawemeyer award and Council of Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Award in 2008 (Silver medallion). His second book, A Single Roll of the Dice - Obama's Diplomacy with Iran (Yale University Press, 2012) was selected as The Best Book on The Middle East in 2012 by Foreign Affairs. His latest book - Losing an Enemy: Obama, Iran and the Triumph of Diplomacy (Yale University Press, 2017) - reveals the behind the scenes story to the historic nuclear deal with Iran. Dr. Parsi is the President of the largest Iranian-American grassroots organization in the US, the National Iranian American Council and has taught at Johns Hopkins University and George Washington University. He currently teaches at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington DC.

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